Charles Kristopher "Kris" von Oy, 35, was the co-founder and/or builder of several of Seattle's hippest gathering places, including Cafe Paradiso (now Caffe Vita) on East Pike Street, Kid Mohair (now the Baltic Room) and Bauhaus Books & Coffee on East Pine Street, and the Alibi Room in Post Alley. A lifelong student of classic modern architecture (as evinced by Bauhaus' name and look), he took personal charge of these establishments' total images, from logos and signage to interior design and lighting. The public spaces he devised from scratch in buildings previously used for other commercial purposes always somehow looked both hip and comfortable, as if they'd always been there and had merely been restored to some nonexistent "original elegance." In Bauhaus, which he co-founded in 1993, von Oy made a big, tall room more homey by installing warm wooden bookshelves and tables inside, rusty metal patio chairs on the sidewalk, and an old-style letter-prefix phone number on the cafe's main exterior sign. Von Oy helped support his ventures by working as an interior lighting designer/consultant on other commercial projects, including the Pike Pub & Brewery on First Avenue and the Starbucks headquarters in the old Sears warehouse on First Avenue South. Most recently, he designed the soon-to-open Dish D'lish restaurant in the Pike Place Market. Von Oy died July 19 in an auto accident on West Magnolia Boulevard, when his car struck a light post.
Richard White, 78, was a real-estate developer who played a pivotal role in making Seattle's Pioneer Square what it is today. In the 1960s, when some businesspeople and bureaucrats wanted to raze the whole neighborhood for office towers and parking lots, White was among the proponents (including then-Mayor Wes Uhlman and architects Victor Steinbrueck and Ralph Anderson) of keeping the area's run-down old buildings and converting them to new uses. He supervised the upscaling of several structures, including the Grand Central Building on First Avenue South (which, under Anderson's designs, was turned from a flophouse hotel into a retail/restaurant arcade). He donated Occidental Park's totem poles, and pushed to get trees planted in the Square. He also started the Richard White Gallery, which represented such local legends as Morris Graves, Tony Angell, and Richard Gilkey (and helped to popularize that odd fad known as "glass art"). It was one of the initial anchors of the Square's gallery circuit and monthly First Thursday opening parties. After selling the gallery in 1973 to Don Foster (who continues to run it in another Square location under the Foster/White name), White split for Mexico, where he died on July 22 from unspecified causes.